Thomas Carnduff Archive

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Personal, literary and collected papers of and/or relating to Thomas Carnduff (1886-1956), the Belfast essayist, playwright and poet. An important figure in cultural circles during the early 20th century, Thomas Carnduff, the so-called 'Shipyard Poet,' was a profilic writer and acute observer of Belfast life. The Thomas Carnduff Archive consists of draft and annotated manuscripts of Carnduff's principal works including the plays, 'Castlereagh' (1935), 'Give Losers Leave To Talk: A Belfast Shipyard Play in Three Acts' and his seminal piece, 'Workers,' which was first performed by the Abbey Theatre in 1932. Other manuscripts featured consist of an incomplete typescript draft of Carnduff's autobiography, various published and unpublished poetry including the anthologies, 'Songs from the Shipyards and Other Poems' (l924) and 'Songs of an Out-of-Work' (l932), and other short stories and articles. Of the personal papers included in the collection can be found correspondence from his second wife, Mary Carnduff, c 1940-44, and various literary associates and friends, including the authors, John Masefield and Richard Hayward, a brief series of collected papers of the Young Ulster Society (co-founded by Carnduff in 1936), and material relating to Carnduff's involvement in the Independent Orange Order movement and the Young Ulster Volunteers. The collection also consists of theatrical ephemera relating to the production of Carnduff's work at the Empire Theatre, Belfast and Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in addition to various personal photographs, sketches, certificates and books etc. The Carnduff Archive also includes correspondence and articles relating to Noel Carnduff's search for his father's work and various other published works about Carnduff, his life and writing.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Carnduff (1886-1956), the Belfast essayist, playwright and poet. An important figure in cultural circles during the early 20th century, Thomas Carnduff, the so-called 'Shipyard Poet,' was a profilic writer and acute observer of Belfast life.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to consultation. Although the collection is generally open to consultation, certain restrictions apply governing access to Carnduff's letters to Mary Carnduff, which will remain closed until 2010. Permission to publish or exploit the material in any way must also be obtained from Dr Sarah Ferris (as Literary Executor) and the Library at Queen's University.

Note

Description compiled by Clare McVeigh (RASCAL Project), entered by Deirdre Wildy, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy catalogue of the collection is available for consultation at Queen's. This handlist can also be found on the cataloguer's own set of web pages at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Copyright. Sarah Ferris, The Thomas Carnduff Archive; a catalogue of the Carnduff papers listed in the Queen's University Library Catalogue, and in the Linen Hall Library (Includes an introduction by Noel Carnduff and a Biographical Chronology of Thomas Carnduff).See http://sarahferris.co.uk/pages/archivecarnduff.html

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to condition and copyright restrictions.

Appraisal Information

The Thomas Carnduff Archive represents a rich resource for students of Ulster drama and Anglo-Irish literature, in addition to providing a valuable and unique commentary on, and insight into, the social, political and cultural development of Belfast during the first half of the 20th century, particularly from the perspective of the working class Protestant.

Custodial History

This collection was assembled by Carnduff's son, Noel Carnduff, over a period of 12 years from 1986-98, through a series of appeals, donations (the collection had previously been dispersed) and personal inheritance following the death of Mary Carnduff in 1990. The collected material was acquired from a variety of private and institutional sources including the Linen Hall Library, where Thomas Carnduff worked as caretaker (1951-56), and the relatives of former associates such as the actor, J.R. Mageean, and Winnie Nesbitt, who worked as secretary to the Young Ulster Society, which Carnduff helped to create in 1936. The collection was deposited in full at Queen's University by Noel Carnduff in January 1999.

Accruals

Closed

Bibliography

Copyright. Sarah Ferris, The Thomas Carnduff Archive; a catalogue of the Carnduff papers listed in the Queen's University Library Catalogue, and in the Linen Hall Library (Includes an introduction by Noel Carnduff and a Biographical Chronology of Thomas Carnduff). See http://sarahferris.co.uk/pages/archivecarnduff.html

Geographical Names